LEEDS RHINOS Women will be in play-off mode when they travel to St Helens on Sunday.
Rhinos are third in Betfred Women’s Super League, four points behind Saints and six adrift of unbeaten leaders Castleford Tigers.
Second will be at home to third in the semi-finals and Rhinos coach Adam Cuthbertson knows his team can lay a marker down this weekend.
“The message I am trying to drive home is this week is a really good opportunity for us to prepare for the play-offs,” Cuthbertson said.
“We are sitting third and if we keep going the way we are it’s looking like a semi-final against Saints. This will be a really good opportunity to get right what we need to get right.
“We still want to get up the league ladder because we’d love to be at home in the semi-final and we want to keep playing some good footy and get some more wins – but be smart about it.”
Sunday will be the sides’ third meeting this season and the Leeds boss reckons they are evenly-matched.
Saints’ only league defeat so far was at Castleford and Cuthbertson recalled: “We won there in the Challenge Cup and a week or two later lost to them in the league, the week before the cup final.
“Saints are a really good side, they are coming second in the league and it’s not due to that specific game [against Leeds] – they have been pretty handy all year.
”They are quite strong across the paddock so it will be a big game and a big test for us.”
Leeds are going into the game in high spirits after last week’s win over Bradford Bulls.
“We didn’t have the greatest preparation leading into it, we had a few people away or injured,” Cuthbertson said.
“Being a Friday night match on our 3G pitch that evened everything up, but considering that, I thought we played quite well. We defended really well, which was pleasing.
“We handled the ball a bit, we still had some moments we need to tidy up a bit – especially at the back end of the season – but I thought, in terms of getting a reaction from the defeat to Castleford, they did really well.”